So wind farms don’t just despoil countryside, frighten horses, chop up birds, spontaneously combust, drive down property prices, madden those who live nearby with their subsonic humming, drive up electricity prices, promote rentseeking, make rich landowners richer (and everyone else poorer), ruin views, buy more electric sports cars for that dreadful Dale Vince character, require rare earth minerals which cause enormous environmental damage, destroy 3.7 real jobs for every fake “green” job they “create”, blight neighbourhoods, kill off tourism and ruin lives, but they also
According to researchers at the University of St Andrews, the sound of offshore wind farms is likely to mess with the whales’ sensitive sonar systems and drive them ashore, where they get stuck on beaches and die.
Has anyone else noticed the gentle irony here? Well, let me explain with the help of my magic sledgehammer: save possibly the polar bear and the mighty snail darter there is no creature on the planet more totemic of green values than the whale. Saving whales is what greens do. Or rather what they used to do in the days when greens were actually interested in caring for the environment instead of, say, trying to destroy the capitalist system. But now, here they are actively promoting a form of renewable energy which in the process of producing next to no energy very expensively also does the most stupendous damage to the environment and the eco-system.
I wonder how long it will be before the University of St Andrews team which came up with this research is accused of being in the pay of big oil.
And I wonder what Greenpeace co-founder Dr Patrick Moore – who in the mid-70s risked his life on many whale-saving expeditions – makes of it.
Actually I know what he makes of it because I’m reading his brilliant book: Confessions of A Greenpeace Dropout – The Making of A Sensible Environmentalist (Beatty Street).
I can’t recommend it highly enough. Moore is the real deal: a PhD ecologist who got into the environmental movement because he loved nature rather than because he hated mankind. He wanted to make the world a better place and he did: in those early days, Greenpeace did valuable work opposing nuclear testing, drift net fishing, industrial pollution and large scale whaling. But then, as he recounts in the book, the environmental movement lost its way:
Since I left Greenpeace, its members, and the majority of the movement have adopted policy after policy that reflects their antihuman bias, illustrates their rejection of science and technology and actually increases the risk of harm to people and the environment. They oppose forestry even though it provides our most abundant renewable resource. They have zero tolerance for genetically modified food crops, even though this technology reduces pesticide use and improves nutrition for people who suffer from malnutrition. They continue to oppose nuclear energy, even though it is the best technology to replace fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They campaign against hydroelectric projects despite the fact that hydro is by far the most abundant renewable source of electricity. And they support the vicious and misguided campaign against salmon farming, an industry that produces more than a million tons of heart-friendly food every year.”
And, no, he doesn’t think much of wind farms either:
“How can windmills be green when they require five times as much steel and concrete per unit of power produced compared to nuclear plants and when they occupy vast areas of land?”
It has been drawn to my attention that the man who led the St Andrews research team has violently, passionately and emphatically dissociated himself from the original Telegraph news item suggesting that his research showed wind farms to be deleterious to the health of whales. I am delighted to put this straight.
What this means is that, though at this stage we know for absolute certain that wind farms despoil countryside, frighten horses, chop up birds, spontaneously combust, drive down property prices, madden those who live nearby with their subsonic humming, drive up electricity prices, promote rentseeking, make rich landowners richer (and everyone else poorer), ruin views, buy more electric sports cars for that dreadful Dale Vince character, require rare earth minerals which cause enormous environmental damage, destroy 3.7 real jobs for every fake “green” job they “create”, blight neighbourhoods, kill off tourism and ruin lives, the possibility that they also lure whales to their doom remains at this stage an unproven hypothesis. (Just like Anthropogenic Global Warming theory, then.)
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